21 Aug Microfluidic chemostat facilitates designing cell-free genetic networks
Synthetic biology and microfluidics have each brought enabling and revolutionary technological advances over the past few decades. However, they have advanced separately and their combined synergy has not yet been fully explored. For this week’s research highlight, we selected a recent Nature Communications paper in which a PDMS-based microfluidic chip was employed for designing cell-free genetic networks. The microfluidic chip served s a chemostat and provided a controlled environment for characterizing libraries of genetic building blocks followed and devising cell-free protein synthesis experiments.
“Our methodology is based on a design–characterize–test cycle (Fig. 1), in which we combine microfluidics, optimal experimental design (OED) and optimize a kinetic model of the CFPS process with an agent-based non-linear least-squares optimization routine which utilizes all collected experimental data simultaneously “, the authors explained.
“In conclusion, we demonstrated a microfluidic platform coupled with a computational OED workflow capable of characterizing genetic building blocks for the modular construction of synthetic gene networks in CFPS systems. With this platform in place, future work will include an increase of the library of well-characterised modular building blocks and forward design of larger and more complex (cell-free) genetic networks.“, the authors explained.
Figures and the abstract are reproduced from van Sluijs, B., Maas, R.J.M., van der Linden, A.J. et al. A microfluidic optimal experimental design platform for forward design of cell-free genetic networks. Nat Commun 13, 3626 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31306-3
Read the original article: A microfluidic optimal experimental design platform for forward design of cell-free genetic networks